SEATTLE, WA — King County’s updated guidance on face coverings went into effect Monday, directing all residents to wear masks anywhere they may encounter people from outside their household.

Public health officials say wearing cloth coverings over the nose and mouth is not meant to replace proper hygiene or physical distancing, instead of providing an added layer of protection for others by blocking potentially infectious droplets from spreading from the wearer.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends wearing face coverings, especially in areas where there has been significant community transmission of the coronavirus, which includes King County.

Recommendations from Public Health – Seattle & King County

  • All face coverings should fit snugly and cover your nose and mouth at all times.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly, with soap and water, or use alcohol-based sanitizer before putting on your mask and after removing it.
  • Handle loops or ties to remove the mask, being careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Keep a mask handy and ready to use for any time where maintaining physical distancing will not be possible.
  • Face coverings are not needed when you are at home, alone in your car, or with members of your household. They are also not needed for outdoor activities, including walking, where you can safely stay 6 feet away from other people.
  • Some people are not required to wear face coverings, including children under 2 years old, anyone with a disability that makes it difficult to wear or remove a mask, and those who have been advised by a doctor against wearing one.